MOSCOW – Ed Harris has signed on to play Vladimir Putin in a new biopic, provisionally entitled Putin.

Tom Hooper is directing the film from a script by English playwright Alan Bennett based on Russian premier’s autobiography Vlad to See You. The Right Stuff star told Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

I’ve long been fascinated by power and the men who wield it. Putin, of course, is one of the single most powerful men on the planet and at the same time he looks like a very lonely and sad man. Alan Bennett’s scripts as emphasized this sadness, but I’m also learning karate because there are quite a lot of karate scenes.

King’s Speech director Tom Hooper said that the film was going to be cross generic exercise.

Putin was a KGB officer for years. He knows martial arts and he can ride a horse so when I sat down and spoke to Alan about the script my notes were really about putting more action into it. Harris is a versatile actor and as well as visibly resembling the Russian leader, he also looks like he could kill you with his stare.

Putin will be released in 2017.